Films & Schedules

  • Rain

  • Maria Govan

93 minutes

Production Company:
Rain Films Ltd.
Executive Producer:
Chris Mortimer
Molly Mayeux, Maria Govan, Francis J. Kuzler, Nate Kohn, Pamela Kohn
Maria Govan
Production Designer:
Denise Hudson
Martina Radwan
Maria Cataldo
Troy Dunn
Gerald Brunskill
Principal Cast: Renel Brown, Nicki Micheaux, CCH Pounder, Irma P. Hall, Calvin Lockhart

International Sales Agent:
The Works International

Saturday September 0605:00PM AMC 6 Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Monday September 0806:15PM AMC 10 Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Saturday September 1312:15PM AMC 9 Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist

Maria Govan's first narrative feature, Rain, begins on the bucolic Ragged Island in the Bahamas. The titular character Rain is a young teenager who was raised by her grandmother in this pastoral paradise. When the elderly woman dies, Rain seeks out her mother, whose last known address was in Nassau.

The boat passage that carries the young heroine from her island serenity to the inner-city is both literal and metaphorical. Upon landing in Nassau's harbour, Rain meets her mother Glory (Nicki Micheaux) for the first time. The realities of both her new home and new caregiver are so far from those of her former idyll that it takes time to adjust. Glory is no longer the young, ambitious girl at the top of her academic class, but a drug addict living in The Graveyard, an area from which “no one ever gets out.”

Confused, shocked and friendless, Rain finds her life taking a tentative step for the better when she is befriended by the school track coach (CCH Pounder), who spots the youngster's grace and speed, so well-developed on the beaches of her home island. However, the path to achievement is not smooth, and Rain must face extraordinary odds and the chaotic, careening life of her mother in order to salvage anything from this small strand of opportunity.

From a simple premise, Rain forges into thematic territory rarely explored in contemporary cinema. Govan examines how different generations of women both support and destroy each other, and reveals how an oppressed community can still find something to hold sacred. At the same time, she explores the emotional life of a young black girl who must find inner direction and strength while drifting in a world hostile to her.

With a strong visual aesthetic and an even stronger cast, Rain shakes off our postcard perceptions of Bahamian life to show us the beauty and dark complexity that lies between Ragged Island and the Nassau few tourists see. That it does this with depth, delicacy and nuance makes for a rewarding audience experience, and marks Govan as a talent to watch.

Jane Schoettle

Maria Govan is a Bahamian citizen born in Miami. She moved to Los Angeles in her teens to gain practical experience in the film industry, then returned home to direct the documentaries Junkanoo: The Heartbeat of a People (00) and Where I'm From: HIV and AIDS in the Bahamas (04). Rain (08) is her feature directing debut.

Cadillac People's Choice Award